Youth and Education News
May 1, 2007 Issue 177 Volume 4
"Great disaster, sickness and war are coming and that is why the white buffalo
has showed itself to the people ... to give them a warning. The white buffalo
showed itself to the people so that they could live on ... Regardless of your
color, we are all living on this Mother Earth, and there are children here who
still need to live ... The white buffalo has come to give the people a warning
and we must listen to the message of the white buffalo.
"I am not talking about the end of the world, but about a new beginning. Today we must change, we must give."
David Swallow, Jr., Lakota Spiritual Leader and Sundance chief
Dirtiest Cities Just Get Dirtier
Today over half the world lives in urban as opposed to rural environments. This means more concentrated dirt. The dirtiest cities are where air pollution, water pollution, ground pollution and open landfill problems are out of control. Mercury, lead poisoning, and radiation pose other severe risks. A report from The Blacksmith Institute says, "living in a town with serious pollution is like living under a death sentence. If the damage does not come from the immediate poisoning, then cancers, lung infections, mental retardation are likely the outcomes." Despite dirt's economic and environmental costs, governments have been slow in keeping track of just how dirty the world is.
The Chernobyl disaster in the late 1900s released more than 100 times the radiation levels of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (Uranium, plutonium, radioactive iodine, cesium-137, strontium and other heavy or radioactive metals.) Chernobyl's 135,000 citizens have been evacuated; there is a 19-mile exclusion zone where no one lives.
People are at risk from the manufacture, storage and bad disposal of Cold-War chemical weapons -- more than 2,000 lb. of waste for each of its 300,000 citizens. Toxic chemicals in ground water have contributed to a death rate 2.6 times the birth rate.
Haina, Dominican Republic
All 85,000 citizens, especially those in the Bajos de Haina area, face poisoning from lead leaked into the soil by a former battery plant. The good news is that there is concerted action to improve the situation.
Kabwe is Zambia's second-largest city, with 250,000 citizens. High levels of lead poisoning are brought about by concentrated mining of lead-bearing ore. Children in Kabwe face 5-10 times the EPA's allowable limit.
La Oroya, Peru
For decades, a smelter exposed the town's 35,000 citizens to toxic emissions. Children suffer high lead blood levels, and nearly 100% of the these children remain over-exposed. La Oroya's sulfur dioxide emissions has killed all surrounding vegetation.
One of China's great pollution offenders, the area suffers from fly-ash, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, arsenic, lead and nitrogen oxides. The coal mining industry creates most of this disaster.
Once a huge uranium processing center, Mailuu-Suu has seen multiple disasters. While atomic bombs may be elsewhere, 1,960,000 cubic meters of radioactive mining waste is still stored in this earthquake prone area. The World Bank has begun a containment project in this seismically active area.
The pollutants at this former slave labor site include Strontium-90, Cesium-137 and more, including hydrogen sulfide. Norlisk still holds the world's largest heavy metal smelting complex.
3,000,000 people live in this city upstream s from Chennai where 1,500,000 tons of toxic materials from tanneries are released into the soil. The ground and water is contaminated. Efforts are being made at containment.
Rudnaya Pristan, Russia
This 90,000-person city and everything around it is full of lead from smelting operations. The plant has been shut down, and plans are underway to help repair lives and land.
The Long Beach and Riverside areas takes top prize the L.A. area for the most polluted from frightful traffic and industrial emissions. The city's air inversions lock the pollution inside the area.
Their particle problem comes from being valley cities with hot, motionless air along the heavily traveled Route 99.
In addition to Route 99, lots of traffic, valley heat, and air inversion, Bakersfield also contends with particle problems from Interstate 5.
Fresno nearly equals Bakersfield's and Visalia's particle count and ozone, but an organization called 1,000 Friends of Fresno are working to improve their city's air quality.
While Ohio winds blow away most of the area's fine particles, Pittsburgh's industries and major highways still contribute to poor air quality.
Detroit has a bad count in short-term particles, water pollution and other health hazards. The good news is that particle count appears to be improving.
The traffic density and emissions are aggravated by sulfur-spewing plants like Bowen. The burning of Atlanta goes on.
Cleveland's pollution has regional causes: it is close to many industrial pollution sources. It does have its own smog problems due to many area highways.
Many of the same factors facing Visalia (highways, valley and heat) also affect Hanford. It also has major smog problems.
Many Intestates meet in Birmingham. Along with emissions from industry and utilities, the traffic makes air particles a challenge for the city. They are doing better in the ozone department.
Moose, Reindeer to Take Taste Tests
Sweden: Sweden wants to use a new, sweeter blend of road salt on its roadway system during the winter season, but not if it attracts wildlife. During a two month study, moose and reindeer living in a Stockholm wildlife park will become official taste testers for the country's National Road Administration. The moose and reindeer will be presented with two salt blocks--one with the new sugary flavor and another tasting like the road salt being used today. If the animals like the sugary version, the NRA will continue using the saltier version. Traffic accidents involving wildlife are fairly common on the Scandinavian country's highways, and the country wants to avoid more accidents to both either humans and animals.
Dire warming report too soft, scientists say
A new global warming issued by the United Nations warns of near apocalyptic changes in earth future. The report is also, in a sense, a pointed indictment of the world's biggest polluters — the industrialized nations. However, many scientists are complaining that the findings were watered down by governments hoping to deflect calls for actions. "The science got hijacked by the political bureaucrats at the late stage of the game," said John Walsh, a climate expert at the University of Alaska. The new report reaffirms previous findings and predicts even more devastating world effects striking all levels of society.
Among the findings:
Global warming is caused by humans;
The world's biggest polluters are industrialized nations.
Spring is arriving earlier, with plants blooming weeks ahead of schedule. In the mountains, early and longer runoff is shrinking glaciers in the Alps, the Himalayas and the Andes.
Habitats for plants and animals, on land and in the oceans, are shifting toward the poles;
Nineteen of the 20 hottest years on record have occurred since 1980;
More frequent and more intense heat waves are "very likely" in the future;
By mid-century, rising temperatures and drying soil will turn tropical forest to savanna in the eastern Amazon;
In North America, snowpack in the West will decline, causing flooding and reduced summer flows for crops and people;
California agriculture will be decimated by the loss of water for irrigation;
Water across the world will arrive in its least welcome forms: storms and floods.
Rising temperatures will change the world's coastlines as the oceans rise;
Tiny islands of the South Pacific and the Asian deltas will be overwhelmed by storm surges;
In the Andes and the Himalayas, melting glaciers will unleash floods and rock avalanches;
Within a few decades, as the glaciers melt down, streams will dwindle, cutting the water supply to almost 20% the world's population;
Between 20% and 30% of the world's species will disappear if temperatures rise 2.7 to 4.5 degrees, the report said.
Africa will suffer the most, with up to 250,000,000 people running short of water by 2020;
Yields from rain-fed crops will drop by 50% in many countries;
Africa will need at least 5% to 10% of its gross domestic product to adapt to rising sea levels.
Recommended by Native Village:
Video: Severn Suzuki Speaks
Before a touched --and chastised -- United Nations, this amazing 12-year-old Vancouver girl confronts adults about their diresregard for youth and Planet Earth.
Cherokee Reservation's School Buses Run on Biodiesel
North Carolina: All 28 school buses on the Cherokee Indian Reservation run on biodiesel, a fuel source that creates less pollution and provides an alternative to oil. The fuel is also used to run the tribe's dump trucks, bulldozers and excavators. Officials soon hope to convert the charter buses and tractor-trailers used for hauling trash. The new Biodiesel fuel is provided by Smoky Mountain Biofuels which uses methane gas from a landfill to get energy needed to produce the biodiesel. The cleaner burning fuel could eventually help reduce air pollution around the Qualla Boundary and the Smokies, said JoElla Jackson of the Eastern Band's environmental office.
"Planet 581 c"
Chile: European scientists have discovered a planet outside our solar system that is potentially habitable. Named Planet 581 c, it has earth-like temperatures, is just the right size and might have water in liquid form. In galactic terms, it's relatively nearby: 120,000,000,000,000 miles away. "There's still a lot that is unknown about the new planet, which could be deemed inhospitable to life once more is known about it," said astronomer Michel Mayor. "And it's worth noting that scientists' requirements for habitability count Mars in that category: a size relatively similar to Earth's with temperatures that would permit liquid water. However, this is the first outside our solar system that meets those standards."
Facts about Planet 581c
581c circles the red dwarf star, Gliese 581c. Red Dwarf stars are low-energy,
tiny stars that give off dim red light and last longer than stars like our sun.
of the stars near Earth are red dwarfs.
Until now, all 220 planets found outside our solar system have had the
"Goldilocks problem." They've been too hot, too cold or just plain too big and
gaseous. But Planet 581 seems just right -- or at least that's what scientists
think. "This could be very important," said Chris McKay from NASA. "It doesn't
mean there is life, but it means it's an Earth-like planet in terms of potential
habitability. While astronomers will eventually find dozens, maybe even
hundreds, of habitable planets in the future, this one -- simply called 'c' by
it's discoverers, will go down in cosmic history as No. 1." The results of the
discovery have been submitted to the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.
N. Manitoba Reserve Invests in Dog Sledding for Eco-tourism
Manitoba: The Hollow Water First Nation is building an ecotourism business they call wilderness therapy: skimming over the beautiful, snow-rimmed Canadian Shield to lose the winter blues. All a customer has to do is hop on back of a dog sled pulled by 10 crazy, baying hounds at 25 kilometers per hour. Hollow Water's eco-tourism project is part of national program which dedicates federal dollars to help those who suffered abuse at residential schools. The dog-sled venture is still in the early stages -- they've taken only 75 customers across the snow. Currently, Hollow Water is training more young people to lead the trips. Wanipigow School will also use the program as a credited part of their curriculum next fall.
The Star Phoenix
Tom Longboat Commemorating a milestone
Canada: In the early 20th century, Canada was a powerhouse when it came to the marathon. In 1900s, Canadians took the top three spots in the fifth running of the Boston Marathon. It was the first time an American did not win the race. But no Canadians could match the hype surrounding Tom Longboat. Longboat was Onandaga and born on the Six Nations Reserve near Brantford, Ont in 1887. He gained local attention as a gifted runner and over time was hailed as the greatest distance runner the world had ever seen:
In 1906, won his racing debut in Hamilton's Around the Bay Road race;
Ten days later, he won a 15-mile road race in Toronto by three minutes;
He won the Christmas Day 10 Miler in 54 minutes and 50 seconds, shattering the Canadian record by two and a half minutes;
He won the Boston Marathon on April 19, 1907, demolishing the previous record by five minutes;
In 1909, Longboat turned professional and eventually won the world professional marathon championship on a track inside a packed Madison Square Garden.
Despite his success, some accused Longboat of performing below his potential and being lazy when it came to his training regime. Tom ran a lot of miles and allowed his body to recover between intense training sessions. While this is standard practice today, it was frowned upon in Tom's running days. In 1951, two years after Longboat's death, the Tom Longboat Awards were established to recognize the achievements of gifted aboriginal athletes. In 1999, Maclean's magazine recognized Longboat as the top Canadian athlete of the 20th century.
Sunlight is Destroying Alaska Native Art Collection
Alaska: Sun is damaging one of Alaska's most important collections of contemporary Alaska Native art. The light-saturated gallery in Stevens International Airport holds 150 masterpieces including Inupiat etched ivory tusks, Cup'ig beach grass baskets, a Tlingit carved canoe paddle and a floor-length Tlingit ceremonial blanket featuring a 2-foot-high raven shaped from tiny glass beads. Alaska's state conservator warns that SIA's treasured collection could be ruined within five years unless it is relocated or protected. Committed to protecting the pieces, Stephens Airport officials are relying on experts from the Alaska Arts Council and arts community to help them understand the airport's options.
New logo earns national recognition
Washington: According to Baseball America, the Spokane Indians have best new logo in Minor League Baseball. Developed in conjunction with the Spokane Tribe, the logo features an eagle feather, one of the most revered symbols in the Spokane Indians Tribal culture. One version of the team's new logo is also written in Salish, the Spokane Tribal language. This is believed to be the first time that a professional sports team has worked with a local tribe to create a team identity. "We have received so much positive local feedback on the new logo, but it is nice to know that people in our industry also appreciate the new logo," said Indians President, Andrew Billig. The Spokane Indians will wear their new uniforms and logo for the first time on during the teams opening night game on June 19.
Alaskan wins big money
Alaska: When Heidi Kurtz won $204,000 on the TV game show, "Deal or No Deal," her goal was "to do well for my boys." Kurtz did well for her boys, and she also did well for her people. The young Yup'ik mother burst through people's TV screens with kinetic energy, bouncing with pride in her Native culture. She work kuspuks, sampled a bit of Yup'ik dancing, and even spoke the Yup'ik language. "It made me feel really proud that I could be on there and be myself and be proud of my culture," Kurtz said. "That's amazing." Now, the $204,000 question: What will she do with the money? She will buy a new car -- something safe and dependable, with four-wheel drive. She will also set aside money so her boys can play sports and go to college. And she will pay her bills. "... I've got debt to way up here," Kurtz said. "I want to pay my debt, and start a life with good credit."
Angelique Midthunder’s “Silent Thunder:” Survival of the Spirit
Florida: Stanford Addison has every reason in the world to hate horses. Twenty-five years ago, the truck he was riding in ran straight into a herd of wild horses on the Wind River Reservation. The truck rolled three times, his spinal cord was severed. Life as he knew it was gone. Now a quadriplegic, Stanford fell into alcohol and depression; he considered suicide. Ironically, however, he found his healing through horses -- the same creatures that crossed paths with his truck. Today, Stanford is renown for his gentle and intuitive training methods working with wild horses. The story of Stanford’s inspirational journey drew the attention of filmmaker Angelique Midthunder. Her documentary, Silent Thunder, tells how Stanford turned his personal tragedy into something positive. “I had read an article about Stanford; a guy who’s a quadriplegic and a horse trainer, and to me that was in itself fascinating,” says Midthunder. “I just went to film him to capture his horse training technique and it turned out to be much different. The story that emerged is not just his story, but an inspirational story anyone can relate to on any level.”
"Rez Ball" Gains NCAA Certification Thanks to Native American Basketball Invitational (NABI)
What exactly is Rez ball?
“Organized chaos,” says Gina Marie Mabry, co founder of the Native American Basketball Invitational. “...much more physical than organized ball.”
Exact definitions differ but most agree that it’s a run-and-gun, fast-breaking endeavor full of showboating and no-look passes with an innate connection among players.
It is pure and exciting with fewer players, fewer time-outs, and no organized plays. For some, Rez ball exemplifies native traditional and family ways.
“Rez ballers were my NBA when I grew up,” says Rob McDonald, Salish Kootenai and a longtime Rez ball fan says. “Indian ball is its own kind of ball.”
Since 2003, The Native American Basketball Invitational has showcased Indian Country basketball to the outside world. Thanks to tournament organizers, the NCAA is officially certifying NABI as an official event, making it the first Native American basketball competition to receive NCAA status. According to NABI co-founder Gina Marie Mabry, previous NCAA rules required teammates to reside in the same state. Tribal teams, however, are composed of young players whose reservations cross state borders. That NCAA rule locked out American Indian high school athletes from NCAA consideration. “It was a matter of education for the NCAA,” said Mabry. This new ruling allows Division I and II college coaches and scouts to attend the NABI tournament in July where 1,200 players from 80 teams are expected to compete. Support has come from tribes like the NBA’s Phoenix Suns, Nike and other sponsors.
Native American Basketball Invitational
July 8-14, 2007
Airways Center, Home to the Phoenix Suns, Phoenix, AZ
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